Bottling Weekend for Batch 1

    This weekend was bottling weekend for my first batch of home brew.  Last Thursday I made my way out to the home brew store to get some bottling supplies.  I really only knew the basics for what I needed when I walked in there so instead of making it a terrible experience from forgetting things or buying the wrong things, I asked the guy at the counter for some advice.  He actually took the time to bring me into the back to show me a few things about bottling.  If you are in Buffalo, NY and want to get into home brewing, I highly suggest going to Niagara Tradition Home Brew Supply.  After watching him show me a few things, I was introduced to a few cool gadgets that make things easier, one being this:

This thing is awesome.  You basically fill the bowl portion with about an inch of sanitizer, place the bottle on the thing in the center, and push down.  It projects a forceful spray of sanitizer inside the bottle.  This made it very easy to sanitize 2 cases of bottles in minutes. 
    I used the auto-siphon which was recommended to me over using a bottling bucket.  Its a lot better for the beer.  Starting the siphon was a bit of a challenge for me because I had never used one before.  I ended up blowing the tip off my filler wand and sprayed beer all over, but hey, you live and learn.  Once I got the siphon going it was super easy.  

Ignore my pants, It’s Sunday, a day where normally we have things to do but this particular Sunday was a total day off so I was in no hurry to get dressed.

After a while, I got the hang of it and set up a little bottle stand.  This allowed me to cap while the siphon slowly filled the bottles.
    The bottle capping device was fairly easy to use.  Again, I’m no expert so the first 5 minutes I looked like a cave man.
    Overall my beer had a nice color and smelled good.  I now have to keep the bottles in a 65-70 degree environment for 6-7 more days before moving them to the basement where they will be in a 50-60 degree environment.  I hope its good.  The guy at the brew store said that if he knew this was my first brew he would have advised against me trying to brew a beer this complicated, but its the type of beer I love, so its the one I want to be good at making!

In a little over a month, I find out if I’m any good!
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Week 8 Weight Watchers

     Week 8, the weekend following Easter.  Last weekend I drank a ton and ate more than normal, although I stayed within my point allowance.  I thought for sure I was going to gain some weight but I didn’t!  I broke even.  So next week I should hopefully lose some more, now that there is no holiday weekend.
      This weekend is bottling weekend for my home brew.  Its tough to remain optimistic about my first batch, for some reason I still feel like its not going to go well.  I have to hit up the home brew store when Nicole gets home because I need bottling supplies.  I’ll be sure to snap some pictures of the process.  Also this weekend Nicole and I are going to tackle a few things in the back yard as we prepare it for the fence we are putting up.
More pictures to come!

Yesterday’s Brew

   Yesterday I took off to spend the afternoon brewing my first batch of beer.  I’ve been reading, watching videos, checking out forums, etc to prepare for my first run.  Everything seemed to go smoothly, my only worry through the entire thing was that I didn’t contaminate anything and that everything was sanitized.

    In the end my wart was really really thick, almost like caramel sauce.  I started to freak out a little but continued to follow the instructions and put the wart into the fermentation bucket after cooling it, topped it off with water, and closed it off with lid and airlock.  I then became obsessed wondering weather or not I messed it up.  After texting with a friend of mine and then posting in some forums, everyone agreed that it would be OK, but that next time I could stray from the recipe and add more water to the wart.  I have to say, the best part about my first experience doing this, is the smells that come from the pot while you are cooking.  The hops smell amazing.
   This afternoon I finally saw the airlock start to bubble which means I have fermentation!  I’m a little more at ease now that its reached this stage.  Now I just need to worry about it tasting good.  Baby steps.  If I mess up or it’s terrible, I’ll definitely be trying again.

Wrestlemania Sunday!

    For millions of people, the most famous Sunday in sports is “Superbowl Sunday”.  For me its “Wrestlemania” Sunday!  This is an event many of us have been watching every year since childhood.  Some of us (like myself) have traveled to different states to see the event live.  I have attended two Wrestlemanias and have witnessed history.  This weekend will be the first Wrestlemania that I host at our new home and I am pretty excited.  Nicole most likely is not, but she understands the passion dudes like myself have for an event such as this.
    I’m going to cook up some chicken on grill, kick back, and hopefully watch some great matches.

 

     I took off Monday so that I wouldn’t have to work after Wrestlemania.  I have decided to try my hand at brewing on this day.  I picked up the last of the things I need so that I can do it.  The liquid yeast I have has a shelf life, and the date stamped on it doesn’t allow me much time.  I will start cooking Monday, hopefully I will be successful.  This is really something I’d like to be good at.  I discovered that we have a home brewing store in Buffalo.  I went there over the weekend, it is totally awesome and will make it easier for me to pursue this hobby.  I’m going to try and get some pictures from the process to add during the week!

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